Spreading terror

As we begin to notice the blossoming of almond trees on the island’s higher plains, wisterias are taking form on the sea fronts, and the traditional sight of flourishing olive groves seem to be taking their course too.

We may be delighted with this sight, as it also depicts the speedy passing of spring and the beginning of summer…Yet not so far away, in Italy’s southernmost Apulia region, a bacterium is spreading which has affected millions of olive trees.

Affected in probably a bleak description seeing as the virus hampers fluid movement in the trees, drying out their branches and leaves and eventually killing them.

Notably, the virus is spread through insects and, as the European Food Safety Authority has pointed out, the problem affecting Italy may soon spread to other EU nations, unless contamination procedures are implemented.

Certain words ring alarm bells: “If it expands its range further; the entire Mediterranean basin risks being contaminated.”

As we speak, there has been a call to ban all plant material imported from Italy and create a task force and implement preventative measures in case the bacterium is identified here.

This initiative was taken by locals who are involved in agriculture and fear that the wellbeing of the entire ecosystem of the island is at stake.

As we fear for our educational system being converted into an artless curriculum, as we still ponder about a dividing line which still spoils a united vision, or as we try to deal with the countless battles our contemporary society confronts us with, there is a dreamy notion of spring which is upon us that could be uprooted without us even realising it.

I hope authorities are on this, for from where I stand the only thing I can do is spread the word and brace myself.

*** Published in the Cyprus Weekly

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